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Whitbourne featured in article about emotions as portrayed in "Inside Out"

Susan K. Whitbourne, Psychological and Brain Sciences, was interviewed about emotions in an article about the new animated movie Inside Out where the emotions of an 11-year-old girl are personified into characters. Fusion

Lau and Chien report that CpdR helps regulate selective protein destruction in bacteria at specific times

Joanne Lau, a microbiology doctoral student, and her advisor, Peter Chien, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, have reported how two molecular pathways, protein degradation and phosphorylation, work together to ensure normal bacterial growth, as published in Molecular Cell. The finding, that a protein called CpdR is specifically phosphorylated at different times in the cell cycle, points the way toward the development of new antibiotics., Science Newsline,, Infection Control Today, R&D magazine, News release

Appreciation of the late Troll's contributions to turf grass research published by the Republican

Joseph Troll, professor of turf management at the Stockbridge School of Agriculture for 40 years and well-known pioneer in turf grass research, died on June 14. The Republican published an appreciate of his many contributions. Our sympathies to his family, friends, and colleagues. News release

Rich interviewed about tick research by Barnstable Patriot

Stephen M. Rich, Microbiology and director, the Laboratory of Medical Zoology, was interviewed about his research on tick-borne diseases by the Barnstable Patriot.

McMillan named director of administrative services

Maura McMillan has been named director of administrative services at CNS, effective July 1, 2015. She replaces Ceil Thompson, who retired on May 16. McMillan has spent most of her career working for the Commonwealth, most recently as budget director for financial analysis at the Executive Office of Health and Human Services. She has also worked for the Executive Office for Administration and Finance and the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security. She holds an MPA from Ohio State University and a BA from Syracuse University.

Bradley is subject of WAMC story about Pope Francis' global warming warning

Raymond S. Bradley, Geosciences, and director, the Climate System Research Center, was interviewed by WAMC Northeast Public Radio about Pope Francis addressing global warming as a moral and ethical issue. Voice of America

Anika Therapeutics to collaborate with IALS to treat rheumatoid arthritis

Anika Therapeutics, Inc., of Bedford, Mass., has signed an agreement with the Institute for Applied Life Sciences (IALS) to collaborate on research to develop a therapy for rheumatoid arthritis with the goal of moving to clinical development by 2017. Sankaran (Thai) Thayumanavan, Chemistry, and Lisa M. Minter, Veterinary and Animal Aciences, are lead researchers.

McClements suggests that nanoscale delivery systems show promise but must be carefully formulated

Writing in the Journal of Food Science, David Julian McClements, Food Science, suggests that nanoscale delivery systems have numerous potential applications in the food industry but “they must be carefully formulated to ensure that they are safe, economically viable and effective.”

Sunwheel celebration highlighted in Gazette article

The upcoming celebration by astronomers including Stephen Schneider of the longest day of the year, June 21, at the UMass Amherst Sunwheel, was featured in an article in the Hampshire Daily Gazette. Weather permitting, the hour-long gatherings will be held at 5:00 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, June 21. Located south of McGuirk Alumni Stadium just off Rocky Hill Road in Hadley, the Sunwheel is made up of large stones arranged in a circle. News release

Lickel and Chapman find that linking climate change to natural disasters influences charitable aid

Brian A. Lickel, Psychological and Brain Sciences, and Daniel A. Chapman, doctoral candidate, found that when natural disasters are described to the public as being a result of climate change, it served as justification for some donors to withhold help, as published in Social Psychological and Personality Science. eScience News,, Science NewsLine, Scientific American

Rawlins interviewed by WWLP-TV about El Nino

Michael Rawlins, Geosciences and manager, the Climate Systems Research Center, is quoted in a news report on WWLP-TV about the potential impacts of an El Nino weather system in the coming months.

Pantazis wins $50,000 bronze medal in DARPA competition

Postdoctoral researcher Ioannis Pantazis, Mathematics and Statistics, won a $50,000 bronze medal in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) competition to identify predictive models for use in new infectious disease forecasting methods. Pantazis, who works in the Markos Katsoulakis lab, entered the competition in his spare time. The Chikungunya Virus (CHIKV) Challenge, DARPA's first health-related challenge, was launched in September, with 38 teams worldwide competing to develop the most accurate prediction model; 11 winners were chosen. There are about 1.4 million cases of the virus, which first appeared in the Americas in December 2013.

Starr's study about how Massachusetts citizens dispose of trash featured on NEPR

A recent survey of how people recycle and dispose of their trash in Massachusetts, by Jared Starr, Environmental Conservation doctoral candidate, was the subject of a recent NEPR story.

3rd annual Hack for Western Mass. creates tech solutions for local nonprofits

About 100 people with a variety of computer-technology skills participated in the Hack for Western Mass. (H4WMA) held at the UMass Center at Springfield and co-run by Steven Brewer, director of the Biology Computer Resource Center. They solved tech problems for nine local profits. BusinessWest, Steve Brewer's blog

Escaped inmates probably conned the prison worker who helped them, says Whitbourne

The prison worker accused of helping two convicted murderers escape from an upstate New York prison probably got conned into helping them, says Susan K. Whitbourne, Psychological and Brain Sciences, who was featured in the Republican about the escape.

Ma wins $500,000 Burroughs Wellcome Fund Investigator in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease award

Li-Jun Ma, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, has received a five-year, $500,000 Burroughs Wellcome Fund Investigator in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease award to develop new treatment options for opportunistic fungal infections. These infections claim over 1.5 million lives each year and pose an increasing threat to public health. Ma studies the genetic mechanisms that underlie the aggressive pathogenicity and genome evolution at the fungus-human interface in the model fungus Fusarium oxysporum. She will combine experimental and computational approaches to investigate pathogen virulence and host defense.

Proposed pipeline could affect more fragile landscape than elsewhere, says Jackson

A new report from the UMass Amherst Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment notes that proposed natural gas pipeline across 35 miles of Franklin County could affect a greater share of fragile landscape than in other parts of the state, says Scott Jackson, Environmental Conservation and principal researcher, as reported in the Hampshire Daily Gazette.

Cheung and Wu discover new mechanisms for receptor proteins in plants

Alice Cheung, Hen-Ming Wu, both in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology department, and colleagues report in eLife that for cell surface regulator FERONIA to function, it requires collaboration with another protein, a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored protein called LORELEI, or its relative LLG1. This new understanding of how FERONIA functions may open many research avenues, not only in basic plant biology, but in new methods of improving plant growth, especially in plants under stress, and improving seed yields and crop production. SeedQuest, Science Newsline,, TerraDaily, News release

LMT and Narayanan featured in New York Times article about black holes

The Large Millimeter Telescope in Mexico and Gopalakrishnan Narayanan, Astronomy, were part of a New York Times feature story about black holes.

UMass Amherst to host stream-crossing database for regional network

UMass Amherst will host a new stream-crossing database to help a new regional network of citizen scientists assess whether stream crossings and culverts block access for turtles, trout, salamanders and other wildlife to move up and down streams. UMass Amherst is part of a core team including members from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, The Nature Conservancy, Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, and the U.S. Forest Service, all of which have formed the North Atlantic Aquatic Connectivity Collaborative (NAACC). Red Lake Nation, Times Argus, Fox Business, MSN, WWLP-TV 22, Burlington Free Press, News release

The new Design Building's environmentally-friendly construction featured in Gazette

The environmentally-friendly timber-frame construction of the new Design Building that will house the Environmental Conservation Department's Building and Construction Technology program is featured in an article in the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

Ross awarded $56,250 from Moore Foundation and Research Corporation for Science Advancement

Jennifer Ross, Physics, has been awarded $56,250 from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and Research Corporation for Science Advancement to conduct ambitious, high-risk, highly impactful research on untested ideas in cell biology. CNBC, Marketplace (NPR), News release

UMass Amherst and Jawaharlal Nehru University to collaborate on climate change

UMass Amherst hosted a historic international joint workshop with visiting scientists from India’s Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) to launch a new collaboration to explore and cultivate mutual research interests and strengths on topics related to climate change including water, food, crop adaptation, and social and economic changes. Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy (left) and JNU Vice Chancellor Sudhir K. Sopory, introduced goals and strategies to guide the work.

Spencer study finds sleep helps overcome memory deficits after concussion

A new study led by Rebecca Spencer, Psychological and Brain Sciences, and published in Frontier in Human Neuroscience, suggests that despite the disturbed sleep and cognitive problems a person can be left with for years following a concussion, sleep still helps overcome memory deficits, and the benefit is equivalent to that seen in individuals without a history of mild traumatic brain injury.,, Zeenews, Business Standard,, News release

Shoenfeld and Gerber featured in local farming article in Business West

Joe Shoenfeld, Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment, and John Gerber, Stockbridge School of Agriculture, were featured in a Business West cover story on local farming in Western Mass., and how UMass Amherst’s residential dining commons are among institutions serving locally-grown products.